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Payroll & Compliance – Important Legislative Updates in Q2 – Philippines

Posted by: The ADP Team on 16 July 2020 in Compliance, Payroll

ADP Quarterly Chronicle – April to June 2020

Benefits Package for COVID-19 Test

Philhealth introduced a new Benefit Package wherein all its members must be tested for SARS CoV by RT PCR as prescribed by Department of Health (DOH) and DOH licensed and Philhealth accredited SARS CoV2 testing laboratories.

Philhealth members who are eligible for coverage for SARS CoV2 testing shall not be charged for co-payment. Also, members who are not already registered in PhilHealth, shall be automatically covered, provided that, they complete member registration upon availing the benefits package.

The accredited PhilHealth testing laboratories may claim the following packages:

Please note: All the claims shall be filed by the PhilHealth accredited SARS CoV2 testing laboratories. Only after proper validation, members may be reimbursed the amount not exceeding the corresponding benefits for SARS CoV 2 test if this benefit was not availed of or was not deducted from the actual charges, provided that the requirements are complied with.

To read further please refer to the official link.

 

Establishment Report to be submitted by all companies

In line with the labour advisory, employers and establishments which are adopting any of the following:

  • Flexible work arrangement/alternative work scheme
  • Temporary closure
  • Retrenchment/reduction of workforce
  • Permanent closure

are advised to file RKS form 5 for 2020. The copy must be submitted, either personally or online, to the appropriate DOLE Provincial Field Office which has jurisdiction over the workplace. This is effective from June 16, 2020.

To read further please refer to the official link.

 

Philhealth Clarification on Unwarranted Claims

Unwarranted claims are claims duly paid for the confinement/treatment of employee-members and/or their qualified dependents by PhilHealth for employee-members and/or their qualified dependents but without qualifying contributions, whose employer is delinquent, underremitting and/or non-reporting.

In such cases, PhilHealth shall issue a demand letter to the concerned employer to pay the unwarranted claims. Should the employer fail or refuse to pay, PhilHealth shall pursue appropriate action against it for failure.

A fine of not less than PHP 5,000 but not more than PHP 10,000 multiplied by the total number of employees of the firm shall be imposed for such non-compliance.

To read further please refer to the official link.

 

Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) Programme with SSS Department due to COVID-19

Government of Philippines, to help the small companies and reduce hardship on them, has announced SBWS program. Under this scheme, the Social Security System (SSS) shall provide a wage subsidy of between PHP 5,000 to PHP 8,000 (based on the regional minimum wage) per month per eligible employee. The application shall be filed by the employer on behalf of its employees.

Only the companies who qualify the below criteria can avail the said benefit:

  1. Size of business: the small business: whether a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship – must not be in the BIR’s Large Taxpayer Service (LTS) list.
  2. Impact of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ):
  • Small businesses under both Category A (non-essentials) that are forced to stop operations (i.e., temporary closure or suspension of work) and
  • Category B (quasi-essentials) that are allowed to operate a skeleton force can apply for the wage subsidy for employees who are not able to work and did not get paid during the ECQ.
  • Also, employers in areas where other forms of quarantine have been put in place by the LGU may also qualify.

The following small businesses will be prioritized:

  1. BIR-registered and complying with tax obligations during the past 3 years, up to January 2020; and
  2. SSS-registered and have paid SSS contributions for the past 3 years up to January 2020 (the last recorded contribution).

An employee who fulfills all of these criteria is eligible for the SBWS:

  1. Must be an employee of an eligible small business;
  2. Must be employed and active as of March 1, 2020, but unable to work due to the ECQ;
  3. Did not get paid by the employer for at least 2 weeks during the temporary closure or suspension of work in accordance with Labor Advisory No. 1, Series of 2020;
  4. Can be of any contract status (e.g., regular, probationary, regular seasonal, project-based, fixed-term); and
  5. Must be certified by the employer in the application as having met all the above criteria.

The following employees are not eligible:

  1. Employees working from home or part of the skeleton force;
  2. Employees who are voluntarily on maternity leave, paternity leave, study leave, sabbatical leave, and leaves of the same type – for the entire duration of the ECQ, whether with or without pay;
  3. Employees who are recipients of SSS unemployment benefits due to COVID-19; and
  4. Those who have settled or have in-process their SSS final claims (funeral, retirement, death, and total disability).

Please note that employees who have already received assistance of PHP 5,000 from the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) may still receive support under the SBWS, if eligible. They will first receive one full tranche of PHP 5,000 to PHP 8,000, depending on region of work, from May 1 to 15. For the second tranche, they will get the difference (subsidy minus the PHP 5,000 they had received) and will therefore receive the same total amount in subsidy as non-CAMP beneficiaries.

The mode of payment of the subsidy is made in partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines.

  1. Withdrawal via the employee’s SSS UMID cards enrolled as ATM;
  2. Withdrawal from employee’s bank account for PESOnet participating banks (Attached as Annex A);
  3. Employee’s Union Bank Quick Card (in partnership with SSS);
  4. Employee’s E-wallet: PayMaya; or
  5. Cash pick-up arrangement through MLhuillier.

The employer may apply for SBWS through:

  1. SSS ACCOUNT in the SSS Website;
  2. E-Form Submission through Secure Site (via Secure Link sent through e-mail); or
  3. File upload method through a secure site (Microsoft Excel File upload to SBWS.GOV.PH).

To read further details, please refer to the official link.

Also read further the guidelines and instruction on SBWS, please refer to here.

 

30 Days Grace Period of All Loan Payment

In line with Section 4(aa) of Republic Act No. 11469 known as the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act”, a 30 days grace period for the payment of all loans (including but not limited to salary, personal housing, and motor vehicle loans as well as credit card payments) falling due within the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) is to be provided.

No additional Documentary Stamp Tax (DST), including that imposed under Section 179 (Stamp Tax on all Debt Instruments), 195 (Stamp Tax on Mortgages, Pledges, and Deeds of Trust), and 198 (Stamp Tax on Assignments and Renewals of Certain Instruments) of the National Internal Revenue Code, shall apply to credit extension and credit restructuring, micro-lending including those obtained from pawnshops and extensions thereof during the ECQ period.

To read further please refer to the official notification.

 

Hope you have enjoyed this quarter’s Payroll & Compliance updates, you may access the PDF version here to share with your colleagues.

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